Methodist Bishops Table Policy Change on Homosexuality United Methodist bishops have tabled a proposal that would have loosened restrictions in the church's mostly conservative policies on homosexuality. --by Kevin Eckstrom of Religion News Service at the PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly website 5.10.07
What happened to the older homosexuals? “Some may have ceased to be sexually active,” said Paul Cameron, “or they may have died. Recent reports from Scandinavia indicate that the life expectancy of homosexuals is 20+ years shorter than that of heterosexuals.” –excerpted from an article at email@example.com submitted by Muriel McConnon, 3.23.07
A Matter of Life and Death — A review of The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life by Ramesh Ponnuru
What kind of truth must a journalist know, and what should he tell? For a long time, in America at least, the answers to these questions have been, respectively, facts and stories. The journalist’s first responsibility is to get the facts straight–who? what? when? where? how?–and the second is to arrange them in a way that captures the attention of the reading public. Practicing journalists know that much art or craft goes into gathering the facts and, since facts rarely speak for themselves, into framing the story.
Others, however, have asked even more of journalists if they are to inform a democratic public properly. At least since Walter Lippmann’s Public Opinion (1922), journalists have been urged to supplement their reporting with statistical knowledge from social science, just as interviews with experts are part of the modern journalist’s stock-in-trade. As for the art of telling stories, it has always tempted able writers in the press toward literature or at least toward essay writing, and the occasional success of a few in this regard is probably responsible for a multitude of lesser efforts by those who might better stick to the facts.
In The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life, Ramesh Ponnuru brings to his journalism yet another kind of knowledge: a clear and precise understanding of the philosophical ethics of his subject, informed by a grasp of the relevant scientific knowledge. His subject is abortion, and the emerging, related issues of euthanasia and embryonic stem-cell research. Ponnuru makes his position clear at the outset: he is “pro-life,” though he once accepted the legitimacy of abortion; even after he came to oppose abortion, he long rejected the “pro-life” label. His pro-life stance, he says, is not bias or opinion or “values.” It is acknowledgment of moral truth. The book’s implicit premise is that the conviction of abortion’s wrongness allows one better to see the facts about abortion politics in America, from its treatment in court, to its effect on partisan elections, to its coverage in the press. With the facts clear, a better story can be told and public opinion, one presumes, will be better formed… excerpted from a book review by James R. Stoner at the Claremont Institute website 3.19.07, read the entire article here
Family Advocates Call COPA Ruling ‘Troubling’ – Court says federal law keeping kids from Web’s harmful material is unconstitutional.
A federal court in Philadelphia today declared unconstitutional a law that requires commercial pornography Web sites to deny access to children, a ruling pro-family groups called “troubling.”
Congress passed the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) in 1998 to force porn sites to hide harmful images behind an age-verification system. The law was immediately challenged and has been embroiled in a legal battle since — and therefore unenforceable.
In today’s ruling, Judge Lowell Reed, taking his cue from prior Supreme Court rulings, found the law to be “overbroad” and determined that filtering was far superior to COPA. While Reed acknowledged that “protecting minors from exposure to sexually explicit material on the World Wide Web is a compelling interest,” he found that COPA “suppresses a large amount of speech that adults have a constitutional right to receive.” —excerpted from an article by Wendy Cloyd, at Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink webpage 3.22.07, read the entire article here
The Lost Girls – Sex-selective abortions are targeting unborn girls by the millions. Feminist orthodoxy at the United Nations is working to protect the practice.
It is a wonderful case of man-bites-dog, but don’t expect to see this headline in any newspaper: “Bush administration’s efforts to protect women through United Nations action thwarted by European Union.”
Yet that is exactly what happened at the recently concluded Commission on the Status of Women, where the United States’ intention to help women (in this case, girls) ran afoul of dominant feminist orthodoxy. The Bush administration introduced a resolution condemning the killing of girls, because they are girls. Such acts include old-fashioned infanticide, the kind of cultural practice the British tried to stamp out in the bygone days of colonial India, as well as the evermore popular use of modern sonogram technology in order to identify and eliminate girls before they are born–what is called sex-selective abortion.
And this is where the United States met the opposition of the European Union and its allies: abortion-on-demand orthodoxy seems to mean women’s total freedom to choose, even if that choice eliminates the next generation of women, for the very reason that they are women.
The Bush administration’s concern about infanticide and sex-selective abortion is not exaggerated; although numbers are difficult to establish, most demographers believe that millions of girls are now killed in this manner every year. The British medical journal Lancet recently surmised that there were perhaps 100 million “missing” girls in the world, girls not allowed to grow into women. China is the largest offender; in many regions, some as large and as highly populated as average-sized countries, there are now 130 boys born for every 100 girls (the normal ratio is 104 boys to 100 girls). Beyond the individual injustices involved, this creates a potential demographic calamity. Nobody knows what will happen to a society in which 40 million men cannot find wives, but, already, there are reports of widespread rapes, forced marriages, and human trafficking. In ten years time, when the problem is more acute, the Chinese government might even find it necessary to send its excess men on a military “adventure” of some kind, in order to mitigate the social instability at home. –excerpted from an article by Douglas A. Sylva at the Weekly Standard’s Daily Standard website, 03.21.07 read the full article here
“How could this great land of plenty produce too few people in the last 30 years? Here is the brutal truth that no one dares to mention: We’re too few because too many of our babies have been killed. Over 45 million since Roe v. Wade in 1973. If those 45 million children had lived, today they would be defending our country, they would be filling our jobs, they would be paying into Social Security. Still, we watch as 3,700 babies are killed every single day in America. It is unbelievable that a nation under God would allow this.” –former Senator Zell Miller, as found at The Patriot Post Vol. 7 No. 12
German Judge Cites Koran, Stirring Up Cultural Storm
Frankfurt, – A German judge has stirred a storm of protest by citing the Koran in turning down a German Muslim woman’s request for a speedy divorce on the ground that her husband beat her.
In a ruling that underlines the tension between Muslim customs and European laws, the judge, Christa Datz-Winter, noted that the couple came from a Moroccan cultural milieu, in which it is common for husbands to beat their wives. The Koran, she wrote in her decision, sanctions such physical abuse.
News of the ruling brought swift and sharp condemnation from politicians, legal experts and Muslim leaders in Germany, many of whom said they were confounded that a German judge would put seventh-century Islamic religious teaching ahead of German law in deciding a case of domestic violence.
The court in Frankfurt abruptly removed Judge Datz-Winter from the case on Wednesday, saying it could not justify her reasoning. The woman’s lawyer, Barbara Becker-Rojczyk, said she decided to publicize the ruling, which was issued in January, after the court refused her request for a new judge. –excerpted from an article by Mark Lander in the New York Times 03.23.07,and submitted by Mark Zaveson